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Kidnappers demand large ransom for Nigerian bishop

11 September 2015

CHIPPLA/COMMONS

Taken: Bishop Tabuwaye's car was found on a road out of Abuja, last week

Taken: Bishop Tabuwaye's car was found on a road out of Abuja, last week

THE kidnappers of a Nigerian bishop are demanding a large ransom for his safe release.

The car of the Bishop of Gwagwalada, the Rt Revd Moses Tabuwaye, was found with its engine still running on a road out of the capital, Abuja, on 3 September. Local news media are reporting that the kidnappers are demanding 40 million Nigerian Naira (about £132,400) in ransom.

Two years ago, the Archbishop of Niger Delta province, the Most Revd Ignatius Kattey, and his wife, Beatrice, were kidnapped by armed men near their home. She was released, but his kidnappers demanded a ransom of ten million Naira, which is believed to have been paid, and he was freed a week later (News, 25 April 2014; 20 September 2013).

The Primate of Nigeria, the Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, at the weekend advised all Christians to be “very vigilant and security-conscious”. “The issue of kidnapping is rampant in the country, but we can still curtail the menace if we are vigilant,” he said.

The diocese of Guildford has a link with the Church of Nigeria. Its link officer, the Revd David Minns, said that they had no more details about the Bishop’s kidnap. “We pray for his safe release, and for all our Nigerian friends, in a ministry which carries considerable risk.

“This is not the first violent incident in that region. This year has seen the murder of two diocesan officials in Lokoje diocese. This recent incident is, sadly, not uncommon, and is a timely reminder to us all that we need to keep praying for our sisters and brothers facing persecution across many parts of Nigeria, not just by Boko Haram in the north-east.”

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